How to study the gospels
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HOW TO STUDY THE GOSPELS. JOHN 20:30-31. UNIQUE GENRE. Made up of Sayings and narratives. No other religious book has anything like the gospels in them. None written by Jesus. There are four distinct gospels which each approach the story of the Lord in their own way.

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HOW TO STUDY THE GOSPELS

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How to study the gospels

HOW TO STUDY THE GOSPELS

JOHN 20:30-31


Unique genre

UNIQUE GENRE

  • Made up of Sayings and narratives.

  • No other religious book has anything like the gospels in them.

  • None written by Jesus.

  • There are four distinct gospels which each approach the story of the Lord in their own way.

    • Not as a biography or history of the time.

    • But set in rural Jewish life in the first century A.D.


Illustrate difference in one story

ILLUSTRATE DIFFERENCE IN ONE STORY

  • All four gospel accounts tell of one miracle that Jesus did, the feeding of the 5,000.

  • Matthew 14:13-21

  • Mark 6:32-44

  • Luke 9:10-17

  • John 6:1-15

  • Let’s read each of them and look for similarities and differences.


Major theme in all is the kingdom of god

MAJOR THEME IN ALL IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD

  • Point of John’s preaching.

  • Point of Jesus longest sermon. Illus. beatitudes or exceeding Pharisees

  • Point of most of the stories that Jesus told.

  • Was the subject of many of the questions raised to Jesus?

    • Pilate – Are you a king?

    • Apostles before the ascension


Why four

WHY FOUR?

  • Different perspectives.

  • Different purposes.

    • Matthew – Jesus the mighty king

    • Mark – Jesus the Suffering Servant

    • Luke – Jesus the Son of man.

    • John – Jesus, God in the flesh.

  • Different audiences.

  • They tell of time of transition from Law to coming of kingdom. Many of Jesus teachings were for that time. Some anticipatory of new age.


Forms of teaching

FORMS OF TEACHING

  • Most obvious is the parable or story.

  • Used overstatement (hyperbole) – Mt. 5:29-30

  • Proverbs – Mt. 6:21; Mk. 3:24

  • Similes and metaphors – Mt. 10:16; 5:13-16

  • Poetry – Mt. 7:6-8; Lk. 6:27-28

  • Questions – Mt. 17:25

  • Irony – Mt. 16:2-3


Types of stories

TYPES OF STORIES

  • Parables – Mostly about the kingdom but sometimes about present situations

  • Short Sayings

  • Encounter stories – Lk. 15; Mt. 16

  • Background stories – John 3; Mt. 24

  • Miracle stories – seven in John. None of the gospels are intended to be exhaustive of the stories – John 20:30-31


To show us the father

TO SHOW US THE FATHER

  • To show us what God the Father is like. John 1:14-18; 14:1-9

    • His attitude toward sin.

    • His heart for sinners.

    • His compassion for the hurting.

    • His patience with people to change.

    • His frustration with hypocrisy.

    • His love for children.


To show us ourselves

TO SHOW US OURSELVES

  • In different stories could, should see ourselves and our attitudes.

    • Sometimes like the religious leaders. Maybe even the older brother of Luke 15

    • Sometimes like the disciples fussing over who is greatest.

    • Sometimes like Martha worried about little stuff.

    • Sometimes like Mary listening at his feet.

    • Sometimes like, Thomas, doubting or Peter, denying.


Focus on the stories jesus told

FOCUS ON THE STORIES JESUS TOLD

  • Not unique to Jesus, but he carried the whole concept to a much higher level than anyone else had ever done or any have since.

  • Often been misinterpreted:

    • Allegory – Ill. Of Good Samaritan.

    • See more in it than Jesus put there.

    • Applied to things not in view.

    • Emphasized the wrong things.


True parable

TRUE PARABLE

  • True parable is a story out of ordinary life that makes a spiritual point or illustrates a point.

  • Yet many things are called parables that don’t have a story to them. Ill. Kingdom like mustard seed or like yeast.

  • Good Samaritan is great example of a true parable. What was the primary point? What were other lessons we could get from it?


Kingdom stories

KINGDOM STORIES

  • Matthew 13

    • Seed, sower and soils.

    • Weeds in field.

    • Mustard seed

    • Yeasts

    • Treasure hidden and pearl of great price.

    • The net that is cast.

  • Some kingdom stories also Eschatological – Matthew 25


Some stories local and personal

SOME STORIES LOCAL AND PERSONAL

  • Rich fool of Luke 12

  • Some specific to situation – Matthew 18:21ff;

    • 20:1ff.

  • Some corrective as two debtors and which would appreciate most. Luke 7:36-50

  • Some make a single point but could add dozens more as Luke 15.


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